What if the moon suddenly disappeared?

To most of us, the moon is symbolic of philosophical or metaphysical thoughts. The illuminating capacity of Earth’s only satellite is quite ‘passive’ or in other words, the light projecting off it makes moon a ‘symbol of subtlety’. In sharp contrast to the sun, the moon is soft and imparts a glow, perfect for eliciting the abstruse aspects in man. But has anybody thought what will happen if the moon vanished all of a sudden or for that matter the sun. No we do not mean hide and seek for that is (new moon and full moon) well known!

Moon and Tides


Keeping aside the abstract ideas we derive, it’s time to ponder over real facts. Have you ever thought about the gravitational effects or tidal flows or simply, life in general in the event of the moon disappearing? The first concern for all of us would be about tides; given moon is the creator of tidal waves.

All the water bodies, including oceans, seas and rivers wound surely experience tides as usual, but they would rather follow the sun. Don’t get surprised finding high tides happening almost everywhere, every day and at the same time. The oceanic tides are largely the result of the gravitational force between the earth and the moon. This is also in combination with the way the earth and moon are related to each other. Moreover, if tides ended permanently, detrimental effects on the coastal ecosystem would surely be evident.

So upon finding the moon being nowhere, regular systems of life would go haywire. Not that any movement will stop but you will surely find waves breaking only on the western zones of continents, thanks to the earth’s rotation.

Moon and the Earth

Earth and moon

The next doom would be severe disturbances in the Earth’s rotational axis. A position that is currently perpendicular to the ecliptic plane would suddenly assume a parallel one. If the axis stayed straight, every place on the globe would be treated to uniform amount of heat throughout the year. With the axis being parallel to the ecliptic, six months of sweltering heat and the other six months of frigid climate will be in store for us. The earth’s motion being severely affected is likely to bring with it unpredictable outcomes. Climatic changes are obvious, with extremities in seasons prominent and stability and habitat of the planet taken for a toss!

Reality be told, the earth’s axis can go anywhere from its current wobble of 22 to 25 degrees to something unimaginable like zero to eightyfive degrees, in the absence of the moon. Continental drifts can be a possible consequence and that means disasters like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions would play active roles.

Moon and Natural Habitats

As stressed earlier, Earth’s habitat can actually face the brink of extinction. All such flora and fauna that has their reproductive abilities or migratory capacities tied to the lunar cycle can be devastated. Even fishes, birds and insects’ life may collapse, as a result of which food cycle disruption, starvation and social disintegration can occur.

And for those who found the moon as their inspiration for music, poetry or just weaving thoughts about life may cry buckets out of sheer monotony!

And here is how it would exactly be:


Joshua Kent

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